Quickplay announced a strategic expansion into media services and media asset management powered by the acquisition of 440 Digital. In conjunction with the acquisition, 440 Digital founder and longtime Walt Disney Company media services expert Robert Longwell will become Quickplay’s Head of Media Services.
Longwell, who built and managed the world-class media services team that helped transition Disney to digital, is leading the integration of 440 Digital’s best-in-class automation technologies into Quickplay’s cloud-native OTT platform. The acquisition is designed to extend Quickplay’s end-to-end Video Pipeline, Video CMS, and User Experience capabilities to the onboarding and management of content – including media workflow automation and digital mastering – that occur prior to distribution.
Quickplay made the announcement prior to the start of its participation in the Parks Associates Future of Video conference here.
“As we’re slashing time-to-market, cost, and effort for the creation of new platforms, we’re finding that the biggest hurdles are in the preparation of assets for distribution,” said Paul Pastor, CBO and Co-Founder of Quickplay. “By adding 440 Digital’s cloud capabilities, we’re creating a unified environment from content prep to the user experience that will dramatically accelerate our customers’ digital transformations.”
“Media services and media asset management are huge pain points for every streaming provider,” said Juan Martin, CTO and Co-Founder of Quickplay. “Distributors must deal with a maze of content sources and distributors, often with different formats, different naming conventions, and different levels of quality control. With 440 Digital and Robert Longwell, we’re simplifying the ability of every customer to receive content that is normalized, delivered on time and versioned for the customer’s specific needs.”
Leveraging 440 DIgital’s automated processes, Quickplay Media Services will provide a wide variety of services, including onboarding of content providers and distributor endpoints; management of ingress and egress drop-off locations; identification, tracking, and quality control of media assets; pre-processing and enrichment; audio and video transcoding; metadata aggregation and normalization; subtitles and closed caption conversion; avails, planners and content rights management; and preparation for and delivery of media packages.
“A highly skilled media services organization makes an incredible difference in streaming operations,” said Longwell. “Many providers simply lack the necessary resources, knowledge and experience to ‘get it right.’ The fundamental thinking behind 440 Digital and the acquisition by Quickplay is to offer those distributors proven capabilities that can streamline all of the processes around media asset management and content distribution.”
Winner of an Emmy Award for the first player to enable online viewing of full episodic content, Longwell spearheaded digital supply chain innovations that underpinned Disney’s transitions to HD, accessibility services, multi-platform viewing, and more. During 17 years with Disney, Longwell specialized in designing systems and building automation to support complex content ingest and platform delivery requirements, including integrations with more than 150 SVOD, MVPD, TV Everywhere, Electronic Sell-Through (EST), and social media platforms. He is the holder of patents for streaming playback and dynamic ad insertion.